What Strategy Should I Use to Earn Travel Rewards for Two?
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
TPG reader Marcus sent me a question on Facebook about traveling with a companion:
“I noticed most of the rewards credit cards that you recommended work for a single person. What if I want to book a flight with someone else? How can I double my point and miles so I can book a flight for two? What card do you recommend?”
This comment stuck out to me, and I admit I was a little taken aback!
At first I thought, “What do you mean, just for single people?” Any of the lessons you learn here on TPG can be replicated. To give you an example from just this last week, if I teach you how to use Aeroplan miles to fly Lufthansa First Class, it’s not just for one person. You can book two, three, or four tickets (or as many as you want) as long as you have the points and the award availability exists.
However, when I asked Marcus for clarification, he explained that many credit card sign-up bonuses are only enough for one ticket (especially in premium cabins), so his question was really about what happens if you need another ticket.
The answer is fairly simple: get the people you want to travel to sign up for that same credit card.
You do need to have a plan to earn those sign-up bonuses. For example, the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard is offering a lucrative sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles, but you need to spend $7,500 in the first three months to earn it. That might be feasible for one person, but not for two, especially if your traveling companion is a spouse or someone else who shares your budget. As I always caution, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Always take into account how much spending you have to complete in order to hit the bonus.
If you have children, while they may not be eligible for their own credit cards, you can make them authorized users on your own accounts. I know a lot of people who have kids in college, and instead of sending them a check or depositing cash into a bank account, adding them as an authorized user helps you can earn more miles and keep track of what they’re buying. (Trust me, if you give your kids cash, they’re probably going to buy things you don’t want them to buy.)
My point is, this game requires a little bit of work. I recommend signing up for dining programs and using shopping portals, and buying points and miles when it makes sense to top up different accounts. Also, you don’t have to create accounts in other people’s names. You can accrue a ton of rewards in your account and then use them to book travel for someone else.
Planning award travel for two (or more) people does take a bit of coordination, but that’s half the fun!
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